21 September 2006

Thursday Thoughts

I have just a few thoughts for Thursday, in no particular order:
  • Yesterday we went and got shoulder massages. It was so wonderful. Only 5 USD for an hour massage. We wanted just shoulder massages, but they turned into full body massages. It is hard to describe exactly how wonderful it really was. I felt like jello afterwards; it was a strange, but good feeling.
  • Words of wisdom from the Chinese: Apparently my hair caused my toilet to back up. I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case. Like I even put my hair in the toilet to begin with. My mom trained me better than that. Anyway, our Dean of Students told me that I should brush my hair in the garden instead. I think some advice was made not to be followed. They also wanted to put bars over our windows to "keep our apartments safe." I do not want to feel like I'm in a cage; I think I'd rather risk it.
  • I'm so excited for National Holiday! I can't refuse a quick history lesson: October 1, 1949--Mao declares China a communist country from Tiananmen Square. We have no school for the first week of October as a result. Here's what I'm looking forward to: 1.) Time off from school already, how cool! 2.) Number one calls for an adventure. Rumor has it that we made ride our bikes all the way to Suzhou (like an hour by bus from here). We would have no clue how to get there, other than the highway that goes there, but we're pretty sure we can't ride on the interstate, although it would be freakin' cool (not to mention dangerous :). 3.) Our teacher conference in Beijing for the latter end of the week. That means seeing familiar faces from Tianjin, most importantly...the Kennedys! They are going to come over and stay at our same hotel :) The hotel has a pool and more importantly, a western-style breakfast. 4.) My birthday. 2-3. Craziness... and what better way to celebrate than be in China?!? I never would have guessed it when I turned 22. Gd is faithful though because I don't think I could have handled it at that point in my life.
  • I'm lamenting not being in the States to buy the U2 Zooropa DVD. There are few things that I miss about the States and buying new music is one of them. A meaningful Sunday experience is also up there. And chocolate :)
  • I never would have guessed that I would enjoy teaching science so much. I secretly wish I could teach it more. We're doing classification and properties of materials and I find it pretty interesting and I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something, which is a feeling I don't have very often these days. English is way different now with our new schedule because I only have two students for second hour. We've moved back to a very basic approach, ESL-style. I never thought I would be teaching such basic stuff, it's been a challenge for me to try and teach it well. Only time will tell if I'm getting through. But Daniel and I combine all of our middle school students for fourth hour for Oral English and that has worked well. I like the team teaching approach. Social Studies for the two Germans is merely ok. The speaking/instructing-in-German-bit will never get old, I'm convinced, but teaching without ANY curriculum sucks. I hate it. I hate never feeling prepared. It's kinda hard to maintain a teacher/student relationship when they are 18 and 19. I'm trying though. Oh, and the best part, we're going to start doing Chinese history. Like I know any Chinese history. Ok, I took one class in college and wrote my senior thesis in it, but haha, they're barking up the wrong tree. I'm going to give it my best shot, but I do feel terribly absurb most days.
  • I must say that keeping in touch with old friends is one of my favorite things ever. A few weeks ago, I got an email from the mother of the host family I stayed with in Russia 10 years ago. 10 years ago. A lot has happened since I was a dorky little 7th grader. They no longer live in Russia, but emigrated to Israel after the collapse of communism. I want to visit them someday real bad. Also, one of my other friends from middle school, who I haven't seen in ages, emailed me and might send me Haribo, so here's a shout out to Rachel squared, AKA The Other Rachel :)
  • While I'm on the idea of email, I was reminded today of how much I love Gmail. And anything Google. I resorted my email and made fun new labels. That is my excitement these days, pathetic, I know, but I have little in the way of entertainment here--that is my excuse.
  • I am terribly out of shape. And I have been ever since I stopped playing volleyball in high school. Yesterday I played Capture the Flag with our kids during PE. It was so much fun. It would have been better had I not been wearing a skirt and flipflops. Oh well. It was great, but my legs are killing me today. My team won, by the way, and I was in jail like 5 times. All of this in front of our school on the little patio area.
  • The weather has been absolutely perfect this week! I've been able to ride my bike, with no rain and no crazy hot humidity. I vote that it stays like this for a long time. The rest of the year would be nice. Or how about for the academic year...that would be even better.
  • I am not so much looking forward to our party for National Holiday. No party would be complete without karaoke and dancing. What a way to kick off our free week! I'm sure I'll have interesting pictures to post next Friday, along with some quality stories too.
  • Our welcome-back present from National Holiday will be Observation Week. Yes, it is exactly as it sounds. Anyone who is someone is invited to observe our classes. Parents, cousins, other teachers, administration, random people off the street, ANYONE. ANYTIME that during that ENTIRE WEEK. Yes, WEEK. Really not looking forward to that. I guess I'd better have some kick-butt lessons, argh...
Well I didn't mean to end on a bad note, but I guess I don't have a lot more to say. I will actually be around this weekend, for the first time since I've been in Wuxi, so I hope to connect with some people. Skype me!
Love from Wuxi and the wonderful, most populated province of Jiangsu, China,

1 comment:

Emily said...

oh rach, i am so happy to hear that all is well. and i like the orange couch.